As cliché as it sounds, the EDM world was shaken when the news of the Krewella lawsuit dropped in 2014. Following the lawsuit, the countersuit, and the settlement, Krewella remained silent in both speaking about the lawsuit, as well as in their music. It wasn’t until later that year that they released “Say Goodbye,” a thinly veiled direct at Rain Man.
It took another four months to release “Somewhere To Run,” and another thirteen months to share the beginning of their Ammunition EP.
Now, 22 months after news of the lawsuit first broke, Krewella are ready to speak out.
In an exclusive interview with Thump, Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf sit down and speak in-depth about the lawsuit for the first time ever.
Below are excerpts from Thump’s interview. Please head to Thump to read the full piece, which is well worth the time.
Kris’ lawsuit claimed that you guys went against what you had agreed to in that oath, regarding the band’s financials. Was part of the oath that you would split your income evenly between the three of you?
Yasmine: We never had a contract or any sort of agreement about money. I was still in high school—I was not focused on my future at all.
Jahan: After [Kris and I] broke up, we were forced to work with each other, live in the same loft, tour with each other—so we had to make it work. We went from being in love to best friends. When you feel like someone is your brother, you don’t think that you’re going to screw each other over. My money is Yasmine’s money and vice versa.
How would you describe the series of events leading to Kris having to go to rehab in 2013?
Yasmine: In August 2013, Kris had gotten over-intoxicated and was hospitalized at a show in Phoenix. His sister, mom, and [our manager] Jake flew to Phoenix to bring him back to LA, and at that point they made the decision that his problem had become very serious, and that he needed help. Unfortunately, the timing of that coincided with Krewella’s first really big headlining tour, the “Get Wet” tour in September 2013. We had to figure out a way to explain why Kris wasn’t on the road for the first half of that tour, and we just said he was sick.
Jahan: Despite whatever you’ve seen online [about how] we tried to squeeze him out of Krewella, it was actually very traumatizing for us to go on tour without him. We felt that it was very important to have the male member of the group there, who fans thought was the producer. I remember not wanting the fans to think that it was just about the two of us.
The interview also touched on common misconceptions about the whole affair, and how they have affected Krewella, as the project currently stands. One of the most common and widely accepted rumors is that Kris did all the work in the group. Most producers these days are jacks of all trades – they produce, write, arrange, engineer, sometimes even mix and master their own music. Because the jobs in Krewella were more disjointed – Yasmine and Jahan worked tirelessly on song writing, while Kris was the main force behind the production – people assumed that Kris was the most important element, and thus Yasmine and Jahan did nothing.
“I think people will be saying that for the rest of our careers,” said Yasmine. “Our hands are all over everything we do, from the music to the visuals to the live show. It’s horrible to have your credibility stripped from you, but that’s the ego getting in the way.”
Owing largely to this misconception, and not helping in any way, was deadmau5. His constant derision and mockery of Krewella certainly didn’t help when they were trying to recover from what must have been one of the most tumultuous times in their lives.
However, both Jahan and Yasmine have built up extremely thick skin and have developed a tolerance against accusations that fly at them every day; it was a necessity.
“We write every song,” said Jahan. “But we never claimed to be [sound] engineers. People will say, ‘Oh, they’re being ghost produced,’ but almost every artist out there has production done—if you look at [album] credits, [it’ll say] ‘drum work done by someone, guitars by someone.’ You could almost call us executive producers, in that we oversee the entire operation, and are in the studio with producers, relaying our vision to them.”
Krewella has another song coming soon that Yasmine says is a bit of a “Fuck you” song – what that means, or who it’s directed toward, remains to be seen. However, the work ethic of Krewella has never been stronger.
Photos by Erez Avissar